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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > TR: Fall Colors Sequoia National Park

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Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 01/02/17 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mother Nature has a way of making you change plans on the fly and then rewards your decision in our case. Our original plan was for a meet up with Ski Pro 3 ,Big Foot Ford, Corey, Myself and Reddog up around Hope Valley off hwy 88 in the Sierras.
Reddog couldn't make it and then Mother Nature said none of you are coming with snow, heavy rain and winds of 50 with gusts of over 70mph . Ski Pro and Bigfoot hunkered down at their homes and Corey and me started looking at weather forecasts and locations that might be do able within a 4 hour drive. We decided to hit the south end of Sequoia at 3 Rivers. We already had packed for bad weather so both of us had to add some lighter clothes and we called it good. Corey headed out Friday morning in his rig and made a stop at Bass Pro on his way south. I had to work so I would be leaving town at 7pm with my dogs in my TC.

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Yes I became a road Zombie

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The last text message I got from Corey was that he was driving up into the hills near the park.
I hit the tail end of the usual I580 mess of a Friday commute on the Altamont and then took 205 over to 99 south where I ran into the storm front. It poured all the way south to Madera but 99 was in great shape due to new asphalt, I lost most of the view from my rear view camera during the rain. When I stopped for Diesel in Goshen just north of Visalia I found out why. That nice fresh asphalt had a high oil content, The back of my white TC was now coated in oily water.. Half a bottle of 409 and a roll of paper towels later it didn't look so much like a garbage scow and the camera view was restored after some Windex.

I rolled into the Potwisha Campground In Sequoia just before midnight. It was packed I drove a full loop before I found Corey. We had just enough room for both rigs and it took most of my leveling blocks to get about 3” shy of level but nose high and an inch tilts to the side but I was beat after driving a 9 hour para-transit shift and a four hour drive to the park plus my work commute, nothing was going to keep me awake. Walked the dogs took a quick shower and slept in until 7 when they woke me to say hey we need to go for a walk or the camper is going to have a funny smell...nuff said

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We had some coffee and broke camp to head on up and out of the lowland Chapparal and up to the Gian Sequoias. Signs said no vehicles over 22 feet...we are 23 so what they hey

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We ended up at the Giant Forest Trail Head on 198 and set out to hike away from the other tourists. Generally that just means head uphill a ways and leave the non hardy hikers behind

but first it was walk the dogs time. I like having my pups along as it keeps folks out of my camper when I'm off doing something. Temps were in the low 60s

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upwards we went

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After many hours of hiking we came into a grove where the dogwood was in full fall colors. We were at about 7000 feet in altitude.

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one of those unusual things you find. At first glance it looked like ash from some burned paper on the trail
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but looking up it was part of a paper wasp nest that had been blown off by the wind the night before

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It was a spectacular hike we stuck to the trails for about half of it and and bushwacked for the other half
all told we were out for about 5 hours and 13 miles

We piled back into our rigs at set off for our next destination. We would be camping at the Azalea Campground and hiking the area by the General Grant tree

The Forest Service was doing some controlled burns alongside the road as we drove

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we got two nice sites in the Azalea Campground

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First order of business at camp is to take care of my furballs

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Cory and I retired to our respective campers for the night and in the Morning we headed over to the Grant Grove trail head. We ended up joining a Ranger led hike for a while then split off to do some exploring on our own.

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in one of the recent burn zones from the big fires that hit the park in the past few years

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so we split off from the Ranger group and went in search of Gulliver. We found him

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The trail eventually took us up to an overlook where we could see Sequoia Lake and a storm front moving in

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Cory and me were having a blast

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We reached the Grant Grove from our side hike just as the storm moved in. The tops of the Giant Sequoias pierced the cloud bottoms as the rain began to fall

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Raingear on time

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as always a hike has to end sometime and we arrived back at the rigs

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Two days, 24 miles of hiking on the trails what a blast. But it was time to head for home

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Azalea Campground is at 6000 feet it is open all year for dry camping and there is XC skiing and snow shoeing trails leading out of camp. I need to go back this winter.


2011 F350 6.7L Diesel 4x4 CrewCab longbed Dually, 08 Lance 1055, Torqlift Talons, Fast Guns, upper and lower Stable Loads, Super Hitch, 48" Super Truss, Airlift loadlifter 5000 extreme airbags


RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 01/02/17 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for some good memories of the past for us... We did our part wandering around all the high place in the AZ areas back in the day. Our camping vehicles were a JEEP pulling a utility trailer back in the 60s...

Certainly don't get to see views like that here in Northern Neck Virginia and up and down the Blue Parkway...

Don't know if I will get to see those things again or not before I can't go anymore...

Roy Ken


My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - Words in CAPS does not mean I am shouting
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zb39

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Posted: 01/02/17 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SWEET!!!!!


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jimh425

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Posted: 01/02/17 12:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice contrast to your last TR and great colors!


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Buzzcut1

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Posted: 01/02/17 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to add that coming home on 99 north before 156 we hit the worst weather. The Highway warning signs had a high wind warning up advising Trucks and Rvs to stay off 99. The Semis were pulling over and stopping. If I had been driving my old SRW I would have done the same. Corey and I with our Duallies and stableload setups reduced speed and went west on 156. The cross winds were insane well over 50mph with driving rain in places. It was a bit better on 5 north until we neared the 580 split. Those were the worst winds and they hit us broadside. I was dang glad after we crested the Altamont and dropped down into the Livermore valley and finally got out of the wind and rain

sabconsulting

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Posted: 01/02/17 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip Eric. Love your dogs. Great colors in Sequoia.

Cheers,

Steve.


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GeoBoy

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Posted: 01/02/17 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip report, we will be heading there this coming May/June.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 01/02/17 04:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another great TR -- well done!


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sharkman

N.E. Indiana

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Posted: 01/02/17 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice, thanks for sharing, great pics.


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exhaustipated

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Posted: 01/02/17 07:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! Another fantastic trip report and photos. Thanks for sharing. This trip report is definitely quite a contrast from your other trip report you posted earlier.


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